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Country Life magazine has featured its first disabled woman on its Girls in Pearls page since launching in 1897.
The British weekly’s coveted page is famed for profiling royals, socialites and models, and has included the likes of Princess Anne, Lady Helen Windsor – cousin to the Queen and 25th in line to the throne – and Jodie Kidd in previous issues.
Heralded as the most famous page in publishing with the world’s most aspirational women filling its glossy pages, this week it features an inspirational young woman who was confined to a wheelchair at just 22.
Sophie Elwes, 30, from London, was paralysed from the chest down following a horrific 23-foot fall from a roof terrace in 2011.
At the time she had recently graduated with a degree in Sociology from the University of Leeds, and following time at King’s College Hospital in ICU and then Stoke Mandeville hospital to complete rehabilitation, Sophie was accepted to UCL Institute of Education to become a primary teacher.
Determined not to let her disability get in the way of her zest for life, Sophie soon developed a passion for skiing, and started racing at the IPCAS (International Paralympic Committee) US Nationals.
Sophie is now ranked 26th and 28th in the world in alpine skiing giant slalom and slalom respectively and is aiming to qualify for the Paralympic Games in Bejing in 2022.